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When Is a Mince Pie No Longer a Mince Pie?

Mince pie? Raise you a crème pat mince pie? Raise you a mince pie doughnut?

Mince pie doughnut at Two Lights London Two Lights/Instagram

Welcome back to Insta Stories, a column examining the London restaurant scene through the often-problematic medium of Instagram. This week’s filter is relatable.

News of the week

There’s always one. A late entrant, just as pundits as rounding up their annual ‘Best Of’ lists, that puts the cat among the pigeons and disrupts a top five that has been locked in for months. It’s the all-star Little Women, coming out on Boxing Day; it’s FKA Twigs, sweeping in just before Thanksgiving to steal the Best Album crown from Lana Del Rey. In the case of London’s restaurants of the year, could it be Davies and Brook, the long-awaited project from Daniel Humm at the storied Claridge’s hotel? The first service was literally two days ago so it may be too early to tell, but the first-glimpse photos shared to date suggest somewhere with all the mid-century modern elegance to take a viable tilt at Timeless Classic honours. Now the Instagram vs Reality waiting game begins, as critics scramble to file the first review. Humm will be hoping they… Make it nice.

Festive treats of the week

If last week signalled the opening of the floodgates for all the predictable Christmas signifiers — especially mince pies — this time round things are a little looser and more improvisational, almost like chefs are starting to have a little fun with a formula that verges on the tediously rote by around the 9 December. Are second wave mince pies in vogue? Is Britain finally ready to re-embrace goose at Christmas, as God and, more importantly, Charles Dickens intended? If turkey is to be forced on to the table, are cooks finally ready to make it taste good?

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Mincemeat, apple & meringue. “ royale pye”

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Indulgence of the week

One very welcome aspect of Christmas? Socially sanctioned consumption of proper pudding at basically any meal (yes, breakfast counts).

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Available on pre-order for December

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baked apple delight #brownfood

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Weird trend of the week

Only nine more photos needed for the Hunky Dudes Holding Thicc Produce 2020 Calendar!

Robust start to the day of the week

Reynolds Woodcock would approve.

Winter warmers of the week

The country might be in a “surprisingly mild” micro-phase at the moment, but it really could turn again any moment, so it’s probably wise to go nuts on stuff like this, just in case.

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Flat bread stuffed with turnip tops and spenwood

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Baubles of the week

More food-related Christmas tree content please, Instagram!

Alt-bauble of the week

Probably not one to leave hanging long after Christmas day.

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There’s a being in my kitchen #octopus

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Idea of the week

One to mull over.

Dish of the week

Waffley versatile.

Shots of the week

Concentric circles vs pretty pastels? Don’t make Instagram choose.